Saturday, 13 April 2013

The Start of the Season

Remember the off-season? Remember how everyone had such high expectations? Remember when suddenly everyone became a Blue Jays fan? Remember when everyone bought a flex pass because they would get first crack at post-season tickets?

It`s April 13. Ten games into the season. The Blue Jays are 4-6 and at the very bottom of the Al East. Our 2012 Cy Young winner is 0-2 with an 8.44 ERA. Most of those with brand new hats, a flex pass and who were thinking about where they would be on the World Series parade route have ankles that hurt just as much as Jose Reyes. The thing about bandwagons: people jump off them. The thing about baseball; not everything happens they way you want it to. Ask a Cubs fan. They could certainly enlighten you.

The Blue Jays began the season in a bad way. The starting pitchers didn't perform, the bats were cold, the bullpen was overstretched.

A photographic rendering of the start of the season
The Blue Jays get creamed 13-0 by the Red Sox, 11-1 by the Tigers. Josh Johnson has the shortest start to his career. The long reliever position becomes a revolving door.

Bitch Please
 And the bandwagonners began to jump. There was whining and bitching. Pleas to trade Colby Rasmus and bring up Anthony Gose. The plans to bring back the World Series trophy to Canada suddenly stopped. People got angry. They boo-ed RA Dickey. Fans ran onto the field. People thought paper airplanes were more appealing than baseball. Fans threw pizza, beer cans and pompoms. Everyone generally acted like the World Series had been guaranteed from the get go. Just because you have a stacked team, doesn't mean you should act like New York Yankees fans. This is Toronto! Did anyone really think it would be that easy?

Brighter days. The corporate machine of the Blue Jays plots their own Canadian World Series win.
 Then last night. Things finally seemed to be blowing in the right direction. J.A Happ wasn't pitching particularly well, but he was getting run support! Singles, doubles, advances on errors! The Blue Jays were winning!! Then one of the two players who have been performing consistently amazing (Jose Reyes)

                                            (for bonus points, the other player is J.P Arencebia).

 Who reminded everyone of the great possibilities, whose smile can surely light up a room, did SOMETHING to his ankle sliding into second base after a two run single, and he was removed from the field in tears. And even the most hard core fans started crying with him. Because suddenly their future stretched out before them, and in this vision, Mike McCoy is playing short stop and the ace has an ERA over 7.

Who me?

How will we go on without Jose Reyes? He's the light in the club house, the wind beneath their wings, and he makes Edwin belly laugh during batting practice.

 Life will go on. It's baseball. Injuries happen, slow starts, complete flubs and plummeting aces. Yes, it won't quite be the same without Reyes, but he will be back.

And in the meantime, the Jays still have a line up that includes Melky Cabrera, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Colby Rasmus, JP Arencebia and (very soon) Brett Lawrie.

It's only April. And the Blue Jays might not win the World Series. But it's too early to say.

It's going to be okay.


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